Top Three Mistakes that could Keep you Unemployed

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Over the past few months, I have observed a steady (and measurable) increase in the number of candidates finding “meaningful” employment opportunities. This is certainly a refreshing change from the horrendous unemployment stories we have heard since the 2008 Financial Debacle. Though positive, the outlook for the economy is still volatile and everything that goes into a job search campaign must be perfected to the nth degree.


As an experienced career coach and resume writer, I would rate the following four factors as being critical in determining the success of any job search campaign: Demand-supply dynamics, a candidate’s background, quality of resume, and job search strategies.


With this introduction, I rate the following job search mistakes as being unequivocally disastrous:


The “I-hunt-from-my-recliner” strategy


Don’t get me wrong. I love my recliner, but I liken any passive job search campaign to the “I-hunt-from-my-recliner” strategy. A job seeker who does not incorporate active networking into his portfolio of job search strategies is, most likely, a passive job seeker.


Making “connections” is the key to securing valuable face time with hiring managers. From career fairs to networking tools offered by online job boards, there is absolutely no scarcity of networking avenues for a serious job seeker.


My friend just found a job, his resume will work for me


As a part of my free resume evaluation service, I review thousands of resumes and often come across needless “resume fluff,” verbiage that does nothing more than fill, nay waste, resume space with hyperbolic adjectives. Copying portions of someone else’s resume or simply pasting content from online resume samples will not produce results.  Viewed from a hiring manager’s perspective, that is simply “lazy writing”. You might as well put your resume in a bottle and hope that someone at the other end of the shore will pick it up and call you.


Powerful accomplishments, career stories, branding statements, and other cutting-edge resume writing strategies could transform an ordinary resume into a masterpiece, one that positions you as the perfect solution for the employer’s needs. In fact, in today’s cut-throat environment, your resume must be so powerful and compelling that the hiring manager must start day-dreaming about having you as the next employee.


If you don’t measure results, you are wasting your time


Analytics are not just for businesses. Every time you post your resume, make a determined effort to track and measure results. How many views did your resume generate? How many calls did you receive? Which strategy is producing the best result? Which version of your resume do employers find more appealing? How many hours did you spend on your job search? How many calls did you make? Get the point. Track your job search activities meticulously and make appropriate changes as you move forward.


It is imperative that you assess, reassess, tweak, and perfect your job search campaign dynamically. While you may not be able to control market dynamics, there are several areas that are absolutely within your direct control.



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  • kristy l
    kristy l
    I have sent out hundreds of resumes in the last two years and I am starting to feel very uncomfortable with my information out there in cyberspace.  I don't know who gets it or what they do with it but I think there has to be a better way.
  • Ferd D
    Ferd D
    The article's author sells resume writing and career coaching, so naturally he focuses upon items he can sell.  But your resume is NOT the first or most important part of a successful job hunt.  Networking and selling yourself to a potential employer IS.  No matter who wrote your resume and how “good” it is, it will be very ineffective if all you do is send it out to respond to job advertisements.   Hunting jobs like that is largely a waste of time, which is the best message the author is trying to convey.  Get out there and find who employs people with your background and experience.  Find social and professional groups in your area that might interest principles of those companies, and not only join those groups but also become active in them.  Peak the interest of decision makers, and informally discuss their perceived needs.  Then tailor your resume to what you’ve learned, and submit it through your contact(s) (not HR).   You need to do a lot of groundwork before you get to the resume submission stage.
  • Janette W
    Janette W
    By the indication from the previous comments, it seems that age is a big issue, one that can't be changed.  It is what it is.  Another big discrimination is length of time out of work.  Because it is harder to get back into job market, it is being held against you.  It seems like the unemployed are on another journey.  Whether you get to the final destination of being employed with all the bumps and road blocks, may be just luck along with all that hard work.  
  • Larry B
    Larry B
    thank you.
  • KEN B
    KEN B
  • Nicole N
    Nicole N
    I graduated with my MBA in August 2011 but I have had several low paying jobs through temp agencies. How do you get noticed if most of your experience is outside of your degree field?  My specialization is Healthcare Management but my experience is accounting and customer service.
  • Dauren M
    Dauren M
    Very good advice.
  • Russell W
    Russell W
    I found this information very valuable, because we live in the "tech" area we do have a tendency to want to sit at our laptop, IPad and network but in reality we need to get off our butts and get going
  • Kevin M
    Kevin M
    I liked the aspect of make it more personable. that your resume jumps out @ you & screams I want to get to know you better!
  • Daisy H
    Daisy H
    Good points.
  • wesley f
    wesley f
    i like to learn more from your website,about posting a great resume,thanks,.
  • Janette C
    Janette C
    Verty informative.  I learned some new things with the article, and is motivated to change my behavior in my job seeking venture.
  • lizabeth W
    lizabeth W
    I have learned some valuable areas to improve my job search. I have been unemployed for 18 months. I am a RN with lots of experience in many nursing arenas. My resume was done professionally. Unfortunately, I believe I have been discriminated due to my age. Michigan has been very  slow in economic growth since the 2008 initial change in the economy. So, the motto is to push ahead .
  •  Loeleatha M
    Loeleatha M
    I do feel I need a more powerful resume. I would love to have an Employer give good reviews on my resume.
  • Edwin K
    Edwin K
    I feel that a lot of employers have ways of getting around asking your age, either by what year did you graduate high school, how long have you had your license, etc. and I think I am being denied opportunities because of my age.
  • Erik A
    Erik A
    I will incorporate your advice and suggestions into my job searching project  Thanks
  • Fabiola C
    Fabiola C
    Good.I am scary to put my resume in a website because if it is far from being so good it could ruin my possibilities with most of possibles employers at once.Any advise? Thanks.
  • Deborah C
    Deborah C
    How do you track which source or version of your resume produced the best results?
  •  eunice a
    eunice a
    I have applied for numerous jobs and have never gotten even a single response yet i have always tried to avoid the various mistakes in job application.What could be the problem?
    You mentioned you assess resumes for free?  Would you like to look at mine? (Just wondering).  Thanks for the info!
  •  Holly
    I think I need more explanations and help.

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